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flametestlab IHMC Public Cmaps


									By: Andrew Genis
Block 5

Atom: The basic unit of matter, comprised of protons, neutrons, and electrons.

Bohr Model: A model of the atom that consisted of a center and electrons orbiting around

it in a circular shape.

Line Spectrum: A diagram that either has bright of dark lines each of which differ

depending on the element giving off the spectrum. Below is an example: the Bright Line

Spectrum for Aluminum.

The Elements:

Cu or Copper: has a vivid blue green color.

Ba or Barium: has a vivid yellow-green color.

Sr or Strontium: has a red-orange or crimson color.

Li or Lithium: has a vivid/brilliant red color.
Ca or Calcium: has a dull or soft brick red color.

K or Potassium: has a dull violet or almost pinkish color.

Na or Sodium: has a fluffy yellow color, which is hard to see.

        The lab utilizes the fact that when electrons are excited, in this case using heat

from fire, they will give off a certain color defined by wavelength. The purpose of this

lab was to figure out the unknowns given to us by comparing the color of the flame to

one or two of the elements we know.

        Copper gives off a vivid blue-green color, whereas Barium tends to give off a

vivid yellow-green color. Strontium however will yield a reddish-orange color when put

in a flame. Lithium will produce a very vivid red when put in a flame, and Calcium will

give off a dull brick red that is very hard to see. Potassium will give off a very distinct,

but often dull violet or pink. And finally there is Sodium which is a very, very dull

“fluffy yellow” unless you really look past the orange-y color of the paper clip, you

cannot see it.
       The materials used in this lab were: safety goggles of course, a Bunsen burner, a

paper clip, a faucet, and the elements. To do this lab you must first set up and ignite the

Bunsen burner, and bend the paper clip into a balloon like shape. Then you take the tip

of the paper clip and moisten it under the faucet. After the tip of the paper clip is

sufficiently moistened you dip it into the unknown. After the unknown is on the tip of

the paperclip you place it into the fire of the Bunsen burner. Observe flame color

carefully and check it against the other elements you have tested, rinse thoroughly and

repeat the process for the next unknown.

       Upon testing the unknowns against the elements we already knew, Ryan and I

found that one through three were each one element, and four was two different elements.

When we first stuck unknown number one into the fire we weren’t sure if it was Copper

or Barium, but upon further inspection we saw the distinction, and it was in fact, Barium.

Unknown number two caused Ryan and I a few problems, at first we saw the red and

thought it was Lithium. We decided to check our guess against the Lithium and

Strontium, to be sure, and found it was actually Strontium and not Lithium. Once we

stuck unknown number three into the fire we could tell it was Sodium, because it barely

looked like anything. And finally we have unknown number four which was a clear

mixture of red and purple. Although we did go back and check the elements before we

came to the verdict of Potassium and Lithium.

       As I previously stated the purpose of this lab was to test the unknowns against

other elements we knew from previous experimentation. You can probably see by now,
that is exactly what Ryan and I did. We took the unknowns and essential, light them on

fire, we observed the flame carefully and then checked it against the other elements we


        I learned that certain elements have certain colored flames. I also learned these

flame colors are unique to each element. And lets not forget all the Quantum Physics I

learned about to explain the phenomena seen in the lab.

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